Simplifying Cyber-Hoarding

Cable on-demand is pretty fun, I must confess. I've watched two episodes of Hoarders in the past two days - terrifyingly accurate. I grew up in a house of horrors, um, hoarders, so the scenes with kids climbing over piles of stuff are all too chilling. I remember well riding a tricycle in the clear basement floor around age four, a floor that was lost to sight, a narrow path threading through it, by age seven or eight. The "stuff" was confined to basement and garage until adolescence, when it began the sneaky creep up the basement stairs, into the kitchen, living room, up more stairs to the second floor, until I went away for a semester of college and came home to find half my bedroom stacked with boxes. Last I looked (about four years ago), my old room was full to eye level, a mattress balanced on plump garbage bags and sagging storage containers.

Dr. D and I have a bit of the opposite problem. We make Goodwill runs every few months. Not to buy, mind you, but to give things up. The only exceptions: for Dr. D it's books; for me, files. Every time I do a rewrite on a manuscript, I save it with a new name (usually just an added number: TITLE_05 or TITLE_19), and I keep - obsessively - the previous draft(s). I don't really consider this a problem. Maybe once I max out Dropbox and fill my external hard drive, I will, but thus far I see it as freeing. I can tinker with scenes as much as I like. I always have the old version if I really ef things up. And so long as I always title docs sequentially, I never have to wonder, "which version is the most recent?"

I worry, though, if those files aren't a sign of the same illness. Over the weekend I rearranged my office and cleaned my desk (seen above, after I got crazy in PhotoShop). Maybe it's time to clean up my hard drive?